Letter to the Editor

Lifelong love of Marguerite Avenue palms has not been without challenges, but their future now appears bright

I have loved the Marguerite Avenue Date Palms since my parents and I moved there many years ago. At that point the palm fronds touched the hood of my father’s car when it was parked on the street.

In 60 years since, we often heard “the city is trying to get rid of the palm trees so they can widen the street.” Now that I am part of “the City,” I can attest to the fact that it’s not true. 

In fact, since it was discovered that our Canary Island Palms were infected with a (Fusarium) fungus over 30 years ago, the city has gone to extreme efforts to try and save them. Unfortunately, the fungus has no permanent cure, but the City’s extraordinary care definitely slowed it down. 

Letter to the Editor Marguerite palm

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Joy Brenner

A dying date palm along Marguerite Avenue

Due in part to the fungus and trees’ age, we are now seeing more of the trees die (see photo) than in past years, and in the process the palms unexpectantly drop fronds and large chunks of bark. We have hired special consultants, increased inspections, added nutrients, and kept up consistent pruning to slow down the deterioration and ensure public safety. Our City Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission is watching these efforts carefully because safety is our number one consideration. 

The good news is that the King Palms being planted in their place are not susceptible to this fungus and are doing beautifully. On that note, it is essential that we as residents do our part to ensure that the existing trees (both the King Palm replacements and the Date Palms) are watered regularly. With summer approaching, this simple task will be more important than ever. 

With the combined efforts of the City and residents, we will ensure a beautiful and lasting Avenue of Palms leading directly to Big Corona for the foreseeable future.

Joy Brenner, District 6s

Newport Beach City Council